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How I discovered a new talent through social distancing

How I discovered a new talent through social distancing

I remember 10 years ago, when I had just started as dean, gathering a group of communications experts and IT specialists in my office to strategize about social media. I wanted to get connected and stay engaged with alumni, faculty, staff and students, and social media seemed like a great tool to do so.

I started my twitter account, @DeanOnCampus in July 2010, and have been tweeting somewhat regularly ever since. I got the occasional spike in interest, but nothing to write home about.

So who would have imagined that of all the messages I sent out over a decade, that by far and away the most popular tweet would be an attempt to add a little humour to a time of unprecedented seriousness and fundamental change to all of our lives.

The tweet in question - that received 80,000 impressions and more than 18,000 engagements – is about me dyeing my wife Cheryl’s hair.

Last week Cheryl reached out to our favourite hair stylist, Fletcher Nelson of Chic Kingston (if you are a dedicated reader, you have heard me rave about him before). Practicing appropriate social distancing, Fletcher left a package for Cheryl on the doorstep. In it was her colour mixture, an application comb, an instruction sheet and a plastic smock.

With all the supplies in hand, Cheryl then needed someone to apply it. Of course, you know who she asked. The procedure, which I took very seriously, went smoothly. My son who was in the house at the time, documented the event by taking a photo. I decided why the heck not, and tweeted it out.

To my surprise – because I don’t spend a lot of time on Twitter, let alone obsess about it – my notifications started lighting up. Opening up the app, I saw that the likes, retweets and replies were accumulating quickly. And almost all of it was in good fun:

View the full conversation on Twitter
View the full conversation on Twitter
View the full conversation on Twitter
View the full conversation on Twitter
View the full conversations on Twitter
View the full conversation on Twitter
View the full conversation on Twitter
View the full conversation on Twitter
View the full conversation on Twitter
View the full conversation on Twitter

 

I’m flabbergasted that in ten years of tweeting, this by far and away got the most attention. But I think in some way, the tweet struck a chord.

Our circumstances are deeply unusual given the COVID-19 crisis. I think the tweet reflected a combination of the adjustment to our new reality and the desperation for a laugh during a time when things are so serious, and the challenges seemingly insurmountable.

As we persevere through these unprecedented times, I would love to hear your thoughts. Please share them by commenting on the blog, or better yet, let’s set up a Zoom call….my virtual door is always open.

Richard

Patti Groome

Thu, 04/09/2020 - 16:23

This is a really great post Richard. It's so important to remember our humanity at this time. Tell Cheryl I'm so envious that she has someone to do her roots for her!
Stay well,
Patti

Patti Groome

Thanks Patti,

It was all in good fun, but as it turned out, Cheryl was very happy with the result. Let’s, however, hope this was a “once in a lifetime”.

Richard

Richard Reznick

Richard Reznick

Thu, 04/09/2020 - 16:23

Exactly, although If you look at all the replies in the Twitter feed, I commented that my experience can be captured by… See none, practice none, do one!

Richard

Richard Reznick

Garry L Willard Meds'63

Sat, 04/11/2020 - 11:59

It looks as if you have gone back to your roots as a barber-surgeon, Richard. Well, at least back to the roots.

Garry L Willard Meds'63

Richard Reznick

Sun, 04/12/2020 - 11:39

Well, I have missed operating these last ten years, so I guess “the operation” served a purpose.

Richard

Richard Reznick

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